Photo: Eric Fredericks/Flickr
Many older Gen X homeowners and Millennials have almost the same amount of equity in their homes, despite Gen Xers having had more time to build it. This illustrates how difficult the recovery from the Great Recession has been for Gen Xers when compared to the experience of other generations, according to a newly released report by the listing site Zillow.
Nationally, all mortgaged homeowners owe, on average, about 62 percent on their mortgages. Some 10 percent of all homes are in negative equity, a situation in which a homeowner owes more on their home than it is worth in the market.
However, the median Gen X homeowner owes about 70 percent of their home’s current value, while the median Millennial homeowners owes about 76 percent, says the Zillow Equity Report.
“The difference in how much Gen X homeowners owe on their home loans is an example of how uneven the housing recovery has been across the country,” says Zillow.
Gen X homeowners were hit the hardest by the financial crisis. Some homeowners became seriously delinquent on their mortgages or even lost their homes entirely during the crisis.
Baby Boomers meanwhile owe about 56 percent of their home’s value and Silent Generation homeowners only owe about 45 percent.
In the New York metro area, the median homeowner owes about 54 percent of their home’s value. However, Gen X homeowners owe nearly 66 percent, and Millennials still owe nearly 69 percent. The percentage of New York homes in negative equity is about 9.2 percent.
There are some markets where Gen Xers have done well in building equity. Home values have risen a staggering 75 percent over the last five years in the Bay Area. In the San Jose metro area — a part of the Bay Area — Gen X homeowners owe about 47 percent on their mortgages. Meantime, San Jose Millennials owe nearly 58 percent of their home’s value, says Zillow’s data.
San Jose is the only metro area where Gen X homeowners owe less than 50 percent of their home’s value.
“Roughly half of American wealth is held in home equity,” says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell.
Paying off a mortgage is a big step towards retirement for most Americans. “It’s clear from these results that Generation X is further from that goal than older generations because of the Great Recession.”
But Gudell adds that home values are still growing relatively quickly in most markets, which should help Gen X homeowners build equity.
The Zillow Equity Report is published twice a year, and tracks home equity in more than 50 million US homeowners who have a mortgage.
Click here to read the entire report.